Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Philippians 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
People who have the responsibility to put together a unified team of individuals that can accomplish a common objective have probably the toughest job in the entire world. Whether they are coaches, executives, or office managers, the challenge is the same – to eliminate the focus on differences and create unity so the goal can be achieved. Successful leaders know how to motivate people to be a part of a bigger picture, rather than just the snapshots of their own experience.
The Apostle Paul understood human nature. He knew that every human being has the same four basic needs. If these four longings of every heart could be satisfied, then people would have a common foundation upon which to build a united organization. Paul also understood that these four needs could only be truly met in a relationship with the Creator who designed them. That is why the church of Jesus Christ is to be the living example of unity for the rest of the world.
What are these basic needs we share? Look at Philippians 2:1 and you will see them all:
- Caring and giving
Unity in the body of Christ is possible because everyone in it has had the same four needs met completely by Jesus Christ. We know what it means to be absolutely accepted for who we are because Christ totally accepted us when we repented of our sin and received His forgiveness. He accepted us to the infinite degree that we are eternally united with Him.
We know the comfort that comes from being unconditionally loved, because even when we do sin, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
We know the joy of intimate fellowship, because our lives have become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit of God. He searches the deepest and most intimate parts of our hearts, exposing them to the grace of God, and leaving us at peace. That’s true intimacy.
Finally, we know the fullness of life that can only be experienced through giving because we have been transformed by the nature of Jesus Himself. We have been given hearts of tenderness and compassion so that we might give of ourselves in service to others. It is in caring and giving that the fullness of the heart of God is experienced.
Before Paul takes up the subject of what unity looks like in a church, he first makes sure that each individual in the church has had all four of these basic human needs met by Jesus Christ. Church conflict and disunity can be eliminated if each individual in the church becomes the person described in Philippians 2:1. When we grasp that glorious reality, we will then understand that every other person who has been saved is identical to us. We will be motivated to unity because in Christ we have all had the same needs met and we have all been made equal.
Dear God, thank you that in Christ I have been accepted, that I am loved unconditionally, that I can be totally transparent with you and be at peace, and that I have been given a heart of caring so that I might serve others. I also thank you that my brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing the same joy, and that we can be united because in Jesus Christ we are one. Amen!